Creatures of earth, sky, land and water (Apr. 29, 2017)

/, Macoun Study Area/Creatures of earth, sky, land and water (Apr. 29, 2017)

Photo of caddisfly and mosquito larvae with Fairy Shrimp

The number and range of things to see increases tremendously as spring arrives. We hadn’t quite entered our Study Area when a Great Egret flew out of it, big and white against the blue sky, and bucking the strong north wind. Once in, under a little grove of Red Maples we noticed that the leaf litter was gone already, consumed by introduce earthworms (we found the culprits under a log: Lumbricus terrestris, along with L. rubellus and Aporrectodea turgida). In the over-browsed main maple woods, a limited roster of spring ephemerals was in bloom: Spring Beauty, Dutchman’s Breeches, and Bloodroot. Several members found Garter Snakes.

Photo of Yellow-spotted Salamander in hand

This being a late-afternoon and evening trip, we settled down for supper overlooking a sparkling woodland pond. Those who finished their meal early poked around in the shallows, coming up with fascinating invertebrates: Fairy Shrimp, caddisfly larvae, and mosquito wrigglers.

Along the shoreline, under logs, Niccolo found two salamanders, one the common Blue-spotted,and the other the very first Yellow-spotted Salamander we have ever seen in the Study Area. And we have been looking since 1970! As night came on, a dozen Spring Peeper choruses came to life, and in one corner of the Woodland Pond, we heard three Chorus Frogs.

2017-07-08T15:09:44+00:00 April 30th, 2017|Macoun Field Club, Macoun Study Area|

About the Author:

Naturalist. Macoun Club member 1965-74; Macoun Club leader since 1985.

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